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CM Mehbooba Mufti urges voters to not shun panchayat polls

Days after separatists linked the recently announced Panchayat polls with the Kashmir issue to enforce a voter boycott, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday again called on the people to vote in large numbers to strengthen the grassroots democracy in the restive state.”The government is committed to empowering the grassroots level institutions. The proposed elections to the Panchayats and later to be followed by the urban local bodies polls are a major step in this direction and will fully empower the basic democratic institutions,” Mehbooba said.Seeking larger participation of the people in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held from February 15, Mehbooba said her government had made a commitment on the floor of the House in June 2016 that the elections to the rural and urban local bodies would be held at the earliest.She added that the State’s Election Authority would formally set the process into motion after the Rural Development Department issues the requisite notification in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act.Mehbooba’s statement comes two days after Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL)of separatists called upon the people to boycott the Panchayat polls and claimed that India is using the election to negate Kashmiris demand for “self-determination and freedom”.JRL is an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik.

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Jammu and Kashmir | Education gets mega boost, 16 new colleges, 400 upgraded govt schools to come up next year

Forget 2016 unrest; the students of Jammu and Kashmir have all the reasons to look forward to 2017.The education sector in the state is all set for a major boost to offset the losses it suffered in the turmoil.More than 400 government schools will be upgraded and 16 new government degree colleges will be established in Jammu and Kashmir.Of the schools to be upgraded, 200 will be promoted from middle to higher and rest 200 from higher to the higher secondary level.The fresh steps to boost education comes a year after education became the prime casualty of the separatist-sponsored civil unrest in Kashmir.Official figures reveal that 34 schools were burnt by attackers during the 2016 unrest. Around 14 incidents of the school burning were timely addressed and property saved.More than 12 lakh students were sitting home as the schools and educational institutions in the valley remained shut for five months following the unrest.“Teachers both in government and private sector deserve all praise for their commitment towards their noble profession. The state is indebted to them. Present government led by Mehbooba Mufti is committed to take education sector to a new high”, said Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Education.Economic Survey Report presented by the Jammu and Kashmir government in the Legislative Assembly few months ago has depicted a grim picture of the education scenario in the valley in 2016.According to the report, normal schooling could be conducted only for a period of four months in the Kashmir valley last year due to the unrest which started after the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in Bamdoora village on July 8 2016.“No one can dispute the fact that the young generation of technocrats and officers serving the state at present are the lot which was educated by the teachers in the times of turbulence. Both public and private sector institutions are contributing to raise the education standard in their own ways”, said Bukhari.

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Modi has failed to get back Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Shiv Sena lashes out

Bhartiya Janta Party’s (BJP) ally in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, once again lashed out at the party and prime minister Narendra Modi in its mouthpiece Saamna. “At last, the slogan of Vande Mataram was heard in Kashmir’s Lal Chowk. The slogans for the victory of Bharat Mata were also shouted and the tricolour was also unfurled,” the editorial said, adding that this was done by “fearless, nationalist Shiv Sainiks with a 56-inch chest” as a response to a challenge from former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The editorial further slammed the Narendra Modi-led government and said while attacks on soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir were still on, the Kashmiri pandits were still to return to their homes in the valley. Also readSrinagar: Accepting Farooq Abdullah’s challenge, Shiv Sena workers attempt to unfurl tricolor at Lal Chowk”We thought that the BJP’s ministers in the Kashmir government will rise to the challenge and unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk to teach Abdullah a lesson. But the ministers in the Mehbooba government did not do it. Hence, seven Shiv Sainiks raised the tricolour in Lal Chowk to take up Abdullah’s challenge,” the editorial added. It said Modi had been unable to fulfill his pre-election promises of getting back Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and added that the Shiv Sainiks who had “wiped off the stain of Babri at Ayodhya” (by demolishing the Babri Masjid) had done the act at Lal Chowk. Also readTerritorial Army jawan killing: Shiv Sena questions govt claim on fall of terror activities in KashmirShiv Sena’s president Uddhav Thackeray is the editor and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut is Saamna’s executive editor,

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It’s raining govt jobs for pellet victims

Pellet victims have a reason to smile after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti provided government jobs to a group of victims, who lost their eyesight in the pellet gun firing in 2016 unrest.The face of the pellet horror Insha Mushtaq, who lost her eyes to pellet guns at Sadew village, however, has reportedly been promised the gas agency by the chief minister.The fresh reach-out comes days after Mehbooba ordered to withdraw cases of 4,327 stone-pelters in a bid to give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives afresh in the restive Kashmir valley.An official spokesman said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti distributed orders of appointment among a group of victims who lost their eyesight due to pellet injuries during the law and order situations in the Valley last year.”This is in continuation of her earlier measures taken for the rehabilitation of the victims of violence during the unrest of last year,” he said. It may be recalled that on September 14 and 28 the Chief Minister had also disbursed financial assistance among two groups of pellet victims.”Mehbooba Mufti, has initiated a series of measures for the rehabilitation, social integration and empowerment of youth of the State. Recently the Chief Minister directed withdrawal of cases against more than four thousand youth involved in various cases of law and order nature,” said the spokesman.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Omar Abdullah congratulates CM Mehbooba Mufti on being re-elected as PDP chief

NC working president Omar Abdullah on Saturday congratulated Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on being re-elected the president of her party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”Congratulations to MehboobaMufti on being re-elected as President of jkpdp. We may not agree on much these days but I wish you well,” he tweeted.In her reply, Mufti wrote, “Thanks for the wishes Omar. Debate is the essence of democracy so we can agree to disagree on certain issues.”She was today re-elected the president of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the next three years. The PDP leadership met at the official residence of the chief minister here, where Mehbooba was ‘unanimously’ elected as head of the party.Mehbooba Mufti emerged from the shadow of her illustrious father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who founded the PDP in 1999, to head Jammu and Kashmir as the first woman chief minister of the state last year.”Thankful to the party in reposing their trust and electing me as their President. Will work tirelessly to fulfil our shared vision of development, inclusiveness and reconciliation in J&K,” Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Terrorists kill another off-duty jawan in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sending a chilling reminder to the Mehbooba Mufti government in the state, terrorists killed an Army jawan on leave at Wothmula village near Keegam in the Shopian district of the sensitive South Kashmir on Saturday.Sepoy Irfan Ahmad Dar of 175 Territorial Army (Engineers) is the third soldier to have fallen to terror bullets since May this year in the Kashmir valley.Twenty-year-old Dar had left home at Senzen village in his car on Friday. On Saturday morning, his bullet-riddled body was found in an orchard in the neighbouring Wothmula village.After completing all the legal formalities, police handed over the body to his family for the last rites. Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral of the fallen soldier.According to Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shopian, preliminary investigation has revealed that Dar was not abducted, but shot dead by terrorists, since he had left home for some work in his car.”His car was found nearby and its key was in his pocket. It didn’t look like kidnap. It was an act of terrorism; we have registered a case and launched a hunt to nab the culprits,” said Dinkar.The SP said militants were trying hard to show their presence since they had been under pressure after the successful anti-terror operations by security forces.”Terrorists are definitely involved. There are small groups who have been under pressure after the operations by security forces. So they carry out spectacular actions to get their presence noted,” he said.Police have put the investigations on the fast track and a massive manhunt has been launched to track down the terrorist group involved in the killing. “I want to assure you that terrorists responsible for this act will be neutralised soon,” Shriram noted.Dar was posted in the Gurez sector along the Line of Control in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. He had come home on leave.”Dar was posted with the Territorial Army unit in Bandipora. He was on leave till November 26. He was possibly abducted and killed by terrorists. The matter is being investigated by police”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesperson at Srinagar.KILLED OFF-FIELDDar is the third soldier to have been killed when they were home on leave in Kashmir this year. On September 27, militants killed BSF jawan-on-leave Mohommad Ramzan Parrey, aka Rameez, and injured three members of his family in Bandipora.
On May 10, militants abducted Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz of Rajputana Riffles from his uncle’s residence in Shopian and was shot dead in neighbouring Harmain village.

Mehbooba Mufti kicks off process of withdrawing cases against stone-pelters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehbooba Mufti government has formally kicked off the process of withdrawing cases against stone-pelters in Kashmir. “It gives me immense satisfaction to restart the process of withdrawing FIRs against first time offenders of stone pelting. My government had initiated the process in May 2016 but it was unfortunately stalled due to the unrest later that year”, tweeted Mehbooba.Chief minister said this confidence building measure reaffirms the Central government’s commitment towards changing the narrative in J&K and creating a reconciliatory atmosphere for sustained dialogue.”It is encouraging that the interlocutor has started on a positive note. His recommendations are being taken seriously by both the Central & State government”, she said. Mehbooba said it is a ray of hope for these young boys and their families. “This initiative will provide them an opportunity to rebuild their lives”, she added

J&K chief minister faces azadi protests at burnt shrine site

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pro-azadi slogans greeted Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday when she visited the 14 century revered Shrine of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani to take stock of the situation after the iconic structure was partially damaged in a fire incident.Pyramidal spire and roof of the shrine, considered a masterpiece of wooden architecture were damaged when fire broke out during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the was brought under control.Originally built in the year 1395 by then Kashmir ruler Sultan Sikander in memory of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, lovingly called Ameer-e-Kabir and Shah Hamdan, the shrine was ravaged by fire on different occasions and was last reconstructed in 1732. The two storied structure is rich in woodwork and has a sloping pyramidal roof.Soon after hearing the news of blaze news, Mehbooba air dashed to Srinagar early morning and straight away drove to the shrine to take stock of the situation. However hundreds of people shouted pro freedom slogans and pro Islam slogans when she was inspecting the shrine.”Chief Minister went around the various areas of the shrine complex to assess the quantum of damage. She sought a detailed appraisal from the local administration regarding the fire incident,” said an official spokesman.Interacting with the members of the management committee and devotees, Mehbooba Mufti said the shrine of Hazrat Amir-e- Kabir symbolises the pluralistic ethos of Kashmir society from which every citizen of the state draws spiritual solace.Chief Minister expressed her deep appreciation for the local youth who came forward and prevented the fire from spreading. “On the occasion, people of the area demanded installation of CCTVs in the shrine complex, availability of fire tenders in the locality, scientific protection to the wood structures at the shrine and expediting shrine expansion plan”, said the spokesman.Emotional scenes were witnessed when people came to know about the blaze in the shrine. Braving cold thousands of devotees rushed to the shrine to find out the damages. Women wailed and cried after seeing the damage to the shrine.Later Chief Minister directed conduct of the safety audit of all shrines in the Kashmir Valley to pevent the fire incidents. Mehbooba directed installation of fire hydrants, smoke alarms, CCTVs and other precautions to prevent fire occurrence at any shrine in the State.Chief Minister, who is also the chairperson of the Wakf Board, directed immediate start of restoration work at the Khanqah i Mou’la shrine and complete it within the shortest period. She asked the INTACH to come up with the drawings within two days so that restoration work is started. She said money would be no constraint in the completion of restoration works at the shrine, which she described as civilizational soul for the people of the State.Mehbooba Mufti expressed her deep appreciation for the local youth who came forward and prevented the fire from spreading while directing the local administration to prepare list of such volunteers so that they would be suitably rewarded.ANCIENT TREASUREOriginally built in the year 1395 by then Kashmir ruler Sultan Sikander in memory of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, lovingly called Ameer-e-Kabir. The two storied structure is rich in woodwork and has a sloping pyramidal roof.

Unlikely alliance turning J&K’S hopes into reality

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the coalition government in J&K in March, 2015, the then chief minister, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, summed up the coming together of the ideologically opposite parties as ‘North Pole meeting the South Pole’. The critics dismissed the alliance as opportunistic and fragile, and predicted its fall sooner than later.Two-and-a-half years on, however, the Green and the Saffron continue to tango in the restive state, without any major divisive issue .The AoA”Nobody thought we will survive for three years. It has happened. There has been no major issue between the PDP and the BJP. Action has started on most points mentioned in the Agenda of Alliance (AOA), ” says Dr Haseeb A Drabu, J&K Minister for Finance and the architect of AOA.Setting aside their political ideologies, the two divergent parties agreed on AOA, a governance mantra, to run the coalition for six years. The two parties not only managed the alliance very well, but have also been able to give a new direction to the development process.Dark clouds of uncertainty hovered over the alliance when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away in 2016. A political vacuum was created and the state was placed under the Governor’s rule. Then Mehbooba Mufti decided to take the plunge and become the first woman chief minister of the state.Mehbooba’s journey, however, was not smooth. A five-month separatist-sponsored agitation, following the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen (HM) leader Burhan Wani on July 8, last year, sent the state into turmoil. Yet, she braved it all and silenced her critics by her perseverance and the governance mantra.Projects galoreNow, for the first time, the state has enough funds, and believe it or not, is facing the unique question of how to utilise this money. Unprecedented road network, bridges, hospitals, schools — the state is on a high of development agenda. The Rs 80,000 Prime Minister Developmental Package (PMDP) has made this difference.Under the PMDP, 63 projects have been taken up by 15 Union ministries through 39 executing agencies. Of these, nearly 80 per cent of the projects stand formally sanctioned. Of the total outlay, Rs 21,988 crore has been released under the package and five projects have already been completed. As many as seven projects are likely to be completed soon.Of the works in progress, 22 major road projects in the state include some big-ticket plans, such as semi-ring road projects for Srinagar and Jammu, Kargil-Zanaskar road, and the Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal stretches of the National Highway, which are in various stages of completion.Impetus for higher educationThe IIM in Jammu has started functioning from its transit accommodation, with an off campus at Narkara in Budgam. Similarly, the Jammu IIT has also started functioning and the process of raising infrastructure for the two institutes has also been started. Besides, under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the detailed project reports of 56 out of 59 projects have been approved, and 27 of them have been started.Under the Himayat programme, a target of training more than one lakh youths in the coming five years has been fixed. Similarly, indoor stadium are being constructed at 10 district headquarters.Connectivity goalsAmong the 11 projects to be taken up for execution include some ambitious ones, such as the Rs 5,100 crore Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch road project, the Rs 1,800 crore Srinagar-Shopian-Qazigund road project, Rs 2,700 crore, 105 km connectivity project for various tourist destinations, and the Zojila tunnel project.”Under the present dispensation, the state has received substantial funding from the Centre. With an expansion in the existing road network, the state is witnessing notable growth and development in different spheres,” said Sham Lal Choudhary, J&K Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control.Health is wealthAs per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the mother and child health indicators in the state have improved in 2016-17, and are relatively better than the national average. This has been possible due to effective monitoring and dedicated efforts by the staff at various levels. Besides, five new medical colleges with 90 per cent funding by the Central government are coming up in the state within the next two years. The move will not only improve the overall health scenario in the state, but will also add 500 more medical seats, thereby generating employment for hundreds of technocrats. These colleges will be established at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri, and Doda, at a cost of Rs 189 crore each.To strengthen the health services, the government of India has also sanctioned two AIIMS for Jammu and Kashmir, for which the process of acquisition of land and other necessary formalities have begun. The estimated cost of each institution has been worked out to be Rs 2,000 crore, with an intake capacity of 100 seats. These two prestigious institutions will not only cater to patients from J&K, but also from the neighbouring states, such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and other parts of the country.For the benefit of cancer patients, the government of India has sanctioned two state-level cancer institutes, to be constructed at a cost of Rs 120 crore each.Off the weathered roadJ&K has also emerged as one of the few states to have gone into an overdrive to create massive assets under the MNERGA scheme. Shunning the tradition of constructing lanes and drains, the Rural Development Department has effectively switched over to asset creation and numerous structures of public importance have been created.During the last fiscal, 875 foot bridges, 1,023 culverts, 20,699 link roads, 2,247 ponds, 1,362 check dams, 2,680 gabion structures, 1,201 water harvesting tanks, 10 fisheries ponds, and 26 Anganwadi centers were constructed, and 2,659 traditional water bodies were renovated.Moreover, 227 play fields were developed, 245 panchayat ghars and 7,074 IHHLs were constructed, 788 livelihood support works (goat shelter, cattle shelter, composite pits etc.), 7,585 micro irrigation works and 977 de-sliting works were completed under the MGNREGA during 2015-16.Similarly, during 2016-17, as many as 11.70 lakh job cards were issued, 312.68 lakh man-days were generated under MGNREGA, and 446 foot bridges, 381 culverts, 8,713 link roads, 29 check dams, 319 gabion structures, 3,140 water harvesting tanks, and 175 ponds were constructed, while 1,334 traditional water bodies were renovated.Besides, 96 play fields were developed, 4 fisheries ponds, 14 Aganwadi centers, 170 Panchayats ghars, and 1,552 IHHLs were constructed under MGNREGA, while 109 livelihood support works (goat shelter, cattle Shelter, composite pits etc.), 2,706 micro irrigation works, and 253 de-silting works were completed.”The social security and the basic facilities for the poor, besides good governance, are the priorities of the government, for which a vigorous campaign has been launched throughout the state,” said Ajay Nanda, J&K Minister of State for Finance and Planning.Cherry on the cakeIn the last two-and-a-half years, J&K has added many firsts to its credit. It has emerged as the first state in the country to change the budget classification, the first state to move to January budget to allow people to spend more, the first state to have announced abolition of treasuries, and the first state to move to the new system of pay-in accounts.But, the highlight of this coalition government has been the appointment of Special Representative, Dineshwar Sharma, by the Centre to initiate dialogue with all stake holders in J&K. The talks with all stakeholders was high on AoA and with the appointment of Sharma, the government says that this clause has been fulfilled.”The appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as the special representative reflected what the Prime Minister had said on Independence Day — “neither ‘goli’ (bullets) nor ‘gaali’ (abuses) can solve the Kashmir issue and it can only be addressed by embracing Kashmiris,” said Naeem Akhtar, J&K Minister for Public Works and official spokesperson of the state government.CHALLENGESBringing separatists to the table: The Joint Resistance Leadership, an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, has ruled out talks with the Centre’s interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma, terming it an “exercise in futility”. The Mehbooba government has to work hard to convince the separatist leadership for talks, in order to bring lasting peace to the troubled state.
Bringing down violence level and curbing stone pelting: Nearly 172 militants have been killed in the renewed offensive against militants this year. But, it has come at a cost of 70 security men, who laid down their lives in the line of duty. Still, there are 225-230 militants operating in the Valley.
Restoring faith and instilling confidence among tourists: 2016 and 2017 have been the worst years, as far as tourist footfall is concerned. 2018 poses a challenge, as tourist operators are looking up to the government to help the sector.
Holding Panchayat and Parliamentary elections for the Anantnang seat: With militants and separatists calling for boycott, coupled with high level of violence, the elections are proving to be a headache for the Mehbooba government. Though there is no word from the Election Commission (EC) on the polls, which were postponed on May 2, J&K Governor NN Vohra has promulgated an ordinance, clearing the decks for holding the polls in the winter of 2017-18.
Preventing radicalisation of youth and channelling their energy towards constructive projects: Youth are especially vulnerable of being exploited by radical elements to become extremists. The Mehbooba government’s biggest challenge is to stave off the youth from falling into the trap of militants and extremists. ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE ALLIANCEThe Rs 80,000-crore Prime Minister Development Package: It was the biggest package ever given by the Centre to the state. From a cash-strapped state, J&K became cash-rich state and the developmental process received a much needed fillip after 27 years of militancy. Roads, bridges, schools, colleges, hospitals, and institutions of excellence came as a bonus.
Appointment of interlocutor: Talks were at the heart of the AOA between the PDP and the BJP. By appointing former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as an interlocutor, the government has silenced its critics. Sharma, whose order has been issued by the President, has already kicked off his Mission Kashmir and met several delegations in the state.
Smart Cities: With the persistent persuasion of the state government, the Centre has included both capitals, Srinagar and Jammu, in the list of Smart Cities. The state has already constituted two committees — the State Level Advisory Committee and Special Purposes Vehicles — for implementation of the Smart City Development Projects under the ‘Smart City Mission’.
Two AIIMS: To strengthen the health services, the Government of India has sanctioned two AIIMS for Jammu and Kashmir. The estimated cost of each institution has been worked out at Rs 2,000 crore, with an intake capacity of 100 seats. The prestigious institutions will not only cater to the needs of patients of the state, but also to those from the neighbouring states, such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and other parts of the country.
India’s longest road tunnel: Nashri tunnel is yet another feather in the cap of the J&K government. An engineering marvel, the 9-km tunnel located on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was dedicated to the nation by PM Narendra Modi on April 2. Built at a cost of Rs 3,720 crore, the Nashri road tunnel has cut down the distance between Jammu and Srinagar cities by nearly 30 km.
MGNREGA projects: In an unprecedented decision, the J&K government has effectively started creating assets instead of just constructing lanes and drains under MGNREGA. Numerous structures of public importance have been created under the scheme, along with jobs. During the last fiscal, 875 foot-bridges, 1,023 culverts, 20,699 link roads, 2,247 ponds, 1,362 check dams, 2,680 Gabion structures/allied works, 1,201 water harvesting tanks/structures, 10 fisheries ponds, and 26 Anganwadi centres were constructed.
Waiving 50% Kisan Credit Card Loans: The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) has emerged as an innovative credit delivery mechanism to meet the production credit requirements of farmers in a timely and hassle-free manner. The State Finance Department has released Rs 241.186 crore to the J&K Bank (SLBC Convener) for waiving 50 per cent of KCC loans, in favour of farmers, whose accounts were standard on August 31, 2014 and the outstanding was less than Rs 1 lakh on March 31, 2015.
Reviving the powers of J&K Legislature: For the first time, the Presidential order on GST was put before the Legislative Assembly for discussions. The Presidential order on the GST was discussed and later implemented, after getting the sense of the House.
Health sector: As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), mother and child health indicators in the state improved during the year 2016-17 and are relatively better than the national average. This has been possible due to effective monitoring and dedicated efforts by the staff at various levels.
Medical colleges: Five new medical colleges with 90 per cent funding by the Central government are coming up in the state. The timeline for completion of these projects has been fixed as two years. The move will improve the overall health scenario in the state and add 500 more medical seats, thereby generating employment for hundreds of technocrats. These colleges will be established at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri, and Doda at Rs 189 crore each.

All Indian citizens in JK are stakeholders: Special rep Dineshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre’s special representative for Kashmir, today said all Indian citizens in Jammu and Kashmir were “stakeholders” in the dialogue process and that he would keep coming to the state in the future.Sharma, who arrived here last evening on the second leg of his visit to J&K, said the Centre had given him the task to restore peace in Kashmir and find some solution.Asked whether he considered the Hurriyat Conference a stakeholder in the dialogue process, he said, “All Indian citizens in Jammu and Kashmir are stakeholders.” Sharma, who was appointed the Centre’s special representative last month for consultations with various groups and political parties, called on state governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here last night and discussed the ways to reach out to the stakeholders, officials said.On the issue of a meeting with Hurriyat leaders, he said, “Let us see.”Asked further, the former Intelligence Bureau chief said, “I am going to visit Jammu and Kashmir again and again.” Replying to a question, he said his visit to the state had been “successful”.He had arrived here yesterday after spending four days in the Valley, during which he met various delegations and political leaders which included former chief minister Omar Abdullah, state Congress chief G A Mir and CPM leaders among others.He also met a BJP delegation, led by the party’s state president Sat Sharma, here yesterday. Sharma is scheduled to return to the national capital tomorrow. PTI AB SC

J&K govt refuses to accept Rs 10 lakh relief recommendation for ‘human shield’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mehbooba Mufti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir has refused to accept the State Human Rights Commission’s (SHRC) recommendations to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to 26-year-old human shield victim Farooq Ahmad Dar.Dar of Chill village was on his way to Gampora to offer condolences when he was picked up by troops of 53 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) , led by Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi in Beerwa-Budgam near Utligam, and tied to the bonnet of a jeep before parading him in around a dozen villages on April 9.While Major Gogoi later defended his actions saying he had saved lives and dubbed Dar as “ring leader who instigated the stone-pelting mob”, the incident had sparked massive anger and outrage.Later in July, the SHRC in its landmark ruling recommended Rs 10 lakh compensation to Dar for suffering “humiliation, physical, psychological torture, stress, wrongful restrain and confinement”.Four months on, the government has questioned the SHRC’s jurisdiction, saying the grounds on which the compensation has been recommended cannot be accepted due to varied reasons. The government said since the investigation is on, paying compensation would amount to establishing the guilt of the accused.“The incident has left me shattered. The government’s denial to pay compensation has added to my woes. I am unable to make my ends meet,” Dar said, while protesting against the government’s action.Main opposition party National Conference lashed out at the state government for denying and ridiculing SHRC recommendation of issuing compensation.

BJP and Congress failed, but ‘tigress’ Mamata decimated communists: Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today hailed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a “tigress” for decimating the communists in her state, a task, which the saffron party said, the Congress and the BJP had “failed” to do.The remarks come two days after Thackeray met the TMC supremo at a south Mumbai hotel.”Some of the stands by Mamata Banerjee may be controversial, and some of them may not match with that of the Sena’s. But in her state, she decimated the communists, against whom the Shiv Sena has always fought.”The tigress did what the Congress and the BJP could not do. She brought to an end the 25-long rule of the communists,” the Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.”For doing so, she did not have to tamper with the EVM machines or buy votes. People gave her the responsibility to lead the state with a lot of trust. But attempts are now being made to stall development and create financial problems in West Bengal.”It is not right to add to the woes of a state and push it backwards just because it does not subscribe to your school of thoughts. That state (Bengal) is a part of India and derailing its development hinders the development of the nation,” it said.Referring to Thackeray’s meeting with Banerjee on Thursday, the Sena, in a veiled attack on the BJP, said those who raised questions over the meeting, should explain the rationale behind joining hands with “separatists and pro-Pakistanis in Kashmir for the sake of power”.”Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who had resigned from the then Vajpayee government post the Godhra riots, is with you today, while Kashmiri Pandits are still helpless and displaced and the Ram temple (in Ayodhya) is yet to be built,” the editorial noted.”Before pointing fingers at us, look at these issues with a tinge of ‘Mamata’ (affection). Those who forged a friendship with pro-Pakistani (Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Mehbooba (Mufti), should not point fingers at us,” the Sena added.

Separatists warn of unrest if Art 35 A tinkered with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Separatists are bracing up for a major showdown against the Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government over the State Subject Law under Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded last year’s unrest, has asked people to remain ready for another round of agitation if the State Subject Law is tinkered with.The threat comes at a time when the Supreme Court is set to resume hearings on Article 35 A. Under the article, Indian citizens other than the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir, cannot acquire immovable property or gain voting rights in the state. Charu Wali Khanna, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir settled outside the state challenged the legality of the article in the Supreme Court on grounds that the law disenfranchises and takes away her succession rights.”People should be ready to launch a mass agitation if the Supreme Court verdict goes against the interests and aspiration of the people of the state. People should be ready to protest against any amendment or change in the State Subject laws,” said the three leaders of the JRL in a joint statement.JRL said the conspiracy has been hatched to change the demography of the Muslim majority state and if the law is revoked or amended, people from other states will purchase land in J&K and a Palestine-like situation will arise.

Stop giving conflicting statements about Kashmir: Omar Abdullah to union ministers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct his ministers not to issue conflicting statements on the Kashmir issue.Citing Union minister Jitendra Singh’s remark that “there is no such things as the Kashmir issue”, Abdullah at a delegates’ session of the National Conference asked why the Centre appointed a special representative for a sustained dialogue then.He said Dineshwar Sharma, the former Intelligence Bureau chief, who has been tasked with initiating talks with all stakeholders in Kashmir, “would be confused by now due to so many conflicting statements by several Union ministers”.After the Centre named Sharma as its representative, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said “talks would be held with everyone and the Hurriyat would be included. However, Singh said there would be no talks with the Hurriyat.”Then the MoS (Home) also said no talks would be held with the Hurriyat … This won’t work. I have a request.Please stop issuing statements … the way you did ‘note bandi’ (demonetisation) please do ‘zuban bandi’ (keep silent), put a silencer on the ministers. Otherwise, the initiative would end before it even begins… which would be unfortunate for the state and its people,” he said.The NC working president said perhaps the ministers of the central government do not listen to the prime minister.”The prime minister spoke from Red Fort (on Independence Day) … He said Kashmir’s problems can only be resolved by embracing Kashmiris. Wish the ministers had listened to your (PM) speech. It seems your cabinet colleagues were sleeping … None of them pondered over your speech,” he said.On Chidambaram’s remark about greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said the senior Congress leader was speaking “on the basis of his experience and he was speaking for himself not for his party”.Autonomy for the state was not outside the purview of the Constitution, he said, adding that J-K “has acceded, not merged with India”.”We have safeguarded our identity. We have our own Constitution, flag and you cannot compare us with other states,” he said.Abdullah said if achieving anything under the Indian Constitution is anti-national, then he is a “proud anti-national”.The NC working president claimed the situation in the state was worse than what it was in 2014.”I am disappointed that the situation is not the same…The BJP and the PDP ruined this state. There is not a single place in the state where the people are not complaining and where they are not disappointed over their 2014 decision (of voting for the PDP-BJP),” he said.Criticising the chief minister, Abdullah alleged that Mehbooba’s handling of the state has given birth to several militant commanders in the Valley.The NC leader said the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved by economic packages or force, but it has to be resolved politically.”The resolution of the issue cannot be purchased, neither it can be achieved through the barrel of gun. Dialogue is the only solution,” he said.

Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma has mandate to talk to everyone: Ram Madhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Saturday the Centre’s interlocutor for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma has the mandate to talk to everyone including the separatists.”Whosoever will come forward, he (Sharma) can talk to him. He has that mandate…. You should ask this to the Hurriyat whether they are ready to talk,” Madhav told reporters here when asked whether the interlocutor would hold dialogue with the separatists.Asked whether the interlocutor would also talk to Pakistan, the BJP leader said “this time, the announcement has been made that Sharma would talk with all groups in Jammu and Kashmir . He said the Centre had announced that talks will be held with those who are willing and so it appointed the interlocutor.”The Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) cannot talk every time and that is why the government of India appointed the representative and he will talk with all groups and leaders of J-K as a representative of the government of India,” Madhav said.
ALSO READ Kashmir: Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma meets CM Mehbooba MuftiAsked if there were any conditions for talks with those who are “outside the mainstream and do not accept the Constitution”, he replied, “We want the whole population and sub-sections of J-K to become mainstream”. On former Union home minister P Chidambaram’s suggestion on autonomy, Madhav alleged that the Kashmiri people and the whole country “are bearing the brunt of the mistakes” that were committed by Chidambaram and his party during their government.”We do not need this advice. The present government would seek advice from well wishers of J-K and would act definitely in future. We do not need advice from Chidambaram,” he retorted. Meanwhile, senior state BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said that while the interlocutor is free to talk to everyone, including Hurriyat, there can be no dialogue with those wielding the gun. He said the state government wanted the dialogue to start soon and everyone should come forward and place their point of view. “Whoever carries a gun in his hand, it is no use to talk to him. Otherwise, the interlocutor is free to talk to everyone,” Singh told reporters.
ALSO READ Big challenge, will work with an open mind, says Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar SharmaWhen asked whether Hurriyat was a stakeholder and if the interlocutor would talk to the separatists, he said, Definitely. We have not said no to anyone . Anyone can talk. But you must remember that when Union Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) came here, (Chief Minister) Mehbooba (Mufti) wrote a letter to Hurriyat to come forward to talk. If we were not ready to talk to them, such a letter would not have gone out. “They also shut their doors to the Parliamentary delegation. But, we believe this is a good opportunity and everyone should come forward for peace and prosperity of J-K and for the future of its youth, he said. He was referring to the visit of a few members of a Parliamentary delegation to the residence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani in September last year. Geelani had refused to meet the members of the delegation.On whether a formal invitation would go to the separatists, the deputy chief minister said “the interlocutor has been fully empowered to talk to anyone and he will decide it. The state government has no role in it . He said BJP has had a consistent stand from the beginning on dialogue. We had said that talks was the only way forward and had mentioned it prominently in the agenda of alliance (the common minimum programme between coalition partners the PDP and the BJP),” he said. “… We had also said that talks would be held in a way they were held in (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee s time. “So, it was clear that with whom the talks willbe held,” he said.The BJP leader noted that in the past some people from the separatist camp were eliminated when they expressed desire to talk. But, “the time is appropriate now for the dialogue, he added. Asked about the NIA investigation against some separatist leaders and its impact on the talks, Singh said “the NIA is an autonomous body, so it has its own mandate”.

Kashmir: CM Mehbooba Mufti discusses state’s development issues with NITI Aayog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Vice-chairman Niti Aayog Rajiv Kumar today called on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and discussed several issues regarding the development of the state, including timely allocation of funds.She stressed upon the need for making the allocation agenda state specific in view of the peculiar nature of Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesman said.He said the Chief Minister told Kumar that the state has its own set of peculiar hardship indicators like climate, mountainous terrain and limited working season which should be looked into while working on the funds allocation for it.She also sought release of funds to the state in time so as to utilise the limited working season for maximum developmental activity.She said that with various initiatives launched by her government, JK has improved its position on the Ease of Doing Business index.She also sought intervention of Niti Aayog in promoting skills development in the state and helping the youth reap the benefits of various schemes.Kumar assured the chief minister of a supportive and facilitational role by the government think tank in getting developmental bottlenecks cleared.He informed her of the Atal Innovation Mission launched by the Aayog under which incubation centres are being set in educational institutes and expressed desire to set up such centres in schools of the state to boost enterprise among young students, the spokesman said.He said Kumar also informed Mehbooba of the monitoring mechanism at the Aayog to oversee the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in the states.The vice-chairman also informed of the creation of a monitoring and evaluation dashboard by the Aayog for all schemes and sectors, the spokesman said

Kashmir: Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma meets CM Mehbooba Mufti

Updated: Oct 26, 2017, 09:36 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Two days after his appointment, Centre’s interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma today held a meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, officials said.The meeting was held at Kashmir House on Prithviraj Road here, they said.Sharma, the former chief of Intelligence Bureau, was on Monday appointed special representative for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, in a fresh move aimed at bringing peace to the troubled state.

It’s 2017, not 1817: Rahul Gandhi attacks Rajasthan CM for controversial ordinance

In tune with his new aggressive avatar on Twitter, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi attacked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over a controversial ordinance, pointing out that the year was “2017, not 1817”.Madam Chief Minister, with all humility we are in the 21st century. It’s 2017, not 1817, Gandhi tweeted. He also tagged a news report titled Rajasthan ordinance is against free speech, say legal experts . The report said the ordinance prohibited an investigation without prior sanction against judicial officers and public servants and also restricted the media.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>It said under the proposed law, the media cannot report on accusations against magistrates and others until the prosecution gets the go-ahead from the sanctioning authority. The state government on Saturday issued a clarification after outrage on social media over the controversial ordinance. An ordinance by the Rajasthan government will prevent cases being lodged against officers and judges for any act commited by them while they were in service. The ordinance also prevents courts from issuing directions to register cases against them. Further the ordinance prevents that the names or pictures of the persons to be made public.The Ordinance was implemented on September 7 and is likely to come up for discussion in the coming assembly session to take the form of a Bill.The ordinance titled Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 is an Amendment in the section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and provides that “no magistrate shall order an investigation against a person who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect to the act done by them while purporting or act in the discharge of their official duties, except with previous sanction under the section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No 2 of 1974) or under any other law for the time being in force”With PTI inputsComments 20Next storyJolt to PDP, senior leader Vikramaditya Singh sends resignation letter to Mehbooba Mufti

Jolt to PDP, senior leader Vikramaditya Singh sends resignation letter to Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a jolt to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, senior leader Vikramaditya Singh on Sunday announced his resignation from the party, saying it wasn’t possible for him to continue with the PDP which “disregarded the demands and aspirations of Jammu region”.Singh, the grandson of the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, had joined the PDP in presence of the late party president Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on August 2015. He was a member of the state legislative council.”I have sent my resignation to party president Mehbooba Mufti with a request to accept it immediately. I feel that it is neither morally nor ethically right for me to continue as a member of the PDP,” Singh told reporters here.Singh, son of senior Congress leader Karan Singh, claimed, “I have publicly expressed my concerns for our state in general and Jammu in particular over the last several months but the party has rejected the issues.” According to him, the issues included illegal settlement of Rohingyas and demand for a public holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh.”It is no longer possible for me to be part of a party that continues to disregard the demands and aspirations of Jammu region,” he said in his resignation letter.

PDP leader’s house set ablaze in less than 24 hours after his assassination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Slain Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Sarpanch Mohammad Ramzan’s family became the subject of second tragedy in less than 24 hours as violent mob set their house in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on fire, just a day after the leader’s assassination. The incidents occurred in a bid to avenge the killing of a top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist on Monday, who had barged in Ramzan’s house.Police immediately swung into action and rescued seven of his family members from the house. They also chased away the crowd which was allegedly instigated by the terror outfit and their sympathisers.”Family has been rescued by the police and security forces. Strong action under law is being taken against the perpetrators,” Dr SP Vaid, Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, tweeted.Former Sarpanch Mohommad Ramzan was killed when a group of three Hizbul terrorists stormed his house and shot him dead from point blank range on Monday evening. Family members present in the house, however, resisted. One of the terrorists, identified as Shoukat, was killed in the ensuing scuffle.Locals took away the body of the perpetrator and handed it to his family for burial. Sources said no medical examination or postmortem was conducted to ascertain nature of injuries.Some villagers alleged that the terrorist did not have any bullet wounds. Police sources, on the other hand, said he died of gunshot wounds fired by one of the terrosrists during the scuffle.After the terrorist’s burial, a mob of around 200 people marched to Ramzan’s house and set it on fire. Quick Reaction Teams immediately rushed to the spot and rescued the family.Police have registered the case and massive hunt has been launched to nab the people responsible for torching the house.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the incidents saying, “I strongly condemn the killing of former Sarpanch Mr Mohammad Ramazan and burning of his house at Humhuna Shopian. Such dastardly acts cannot justify or achieve any political goals.”

J&K: Separatist’s pic turns up in Beti Bachao campaign, officer supended and probe ordered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government today suspended an officer and ordered a probe in connection with a picture of jailed separatist leader Asiya Andrabi appearing along with Indian women achievers in a banner on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign.Shamima, the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) of Breng block in Anantnag district, has been placed under suspension and an inquiry has been ordered into the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag Mohammad Yunus Malik told PTI.”The CDPO in question has committed a grievous error of judgement by including Asiya Andrabi in the list of distinguished women achievers of the country.”The person responsible for this goof up has been immediately placed under suspension and an inquiry has been ordered against her for the conduct,” said Social Welfare Minister Sajad Lone.
ALSO READ Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti order probe after Kashmir separatist leader Asiya Andrabi features on Beti Bachao posterThe state government yesterday faced a major embarrassment after the picture of Andrabi, the pro-Pakistan chief of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (daughters of the nation) organisation, appeared in the banner along with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Lata Mangeshkar, tennis star Sania Mirza and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.The poster, aimed at highlighting the women achievers of the country, was hoisted at a function held to promote girl education in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area yesterday.
ALSO READ J&K govt left red-faced after jailed separatist leader Asiya Andrabi turns up on Beti Bachao poster! Lone said Andrabi was not a role model for women in Jammu and Kashmir or anywhere else in the world.”The department unambiguously states that Ms Asiya Andrabi is not a role model — neither for women of Jammu and Kashmir nor elsewhere in the world. She at best is an aberration, representing the aimless fringe afflicting societies across the world,” the minister said in a statement posted on his Twitter handle.Lone said the publicity wing of the department works in a decentralised format and CDPOs devise their own publicity, which does not require approval of higher authorities.Andrabi, who is currently detained under Public Safety Act, openly advocates for merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan.She has several cases registered against her including some for hoisting Pakistani flag on August 14 and March 23 — the Independence Day and National Day of Pakistan, respectively.Opposition Congress slammed the Mehbooba Mufti government over the development.”This is total failure of the PDP-BJP government and it should apologise for hurting the nationalist and religious sentiments of the countrymen and insulting our national leaders besides taking stern action to check such incidents,” State Congress spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said.Sharma wondered if the act was a part of deliberate attempts to appease the separatist element in the state.Panthers Party also criticised the government over it.

Govt denies rumours on power for Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government has strongly refuted reports circulating on social media that power supply has been cut off in 30 villages to provide electricity to the guest house that is housing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Budgam district.Social media was abuzz with reports that the Power Development Department (PDD) had cut off power supply to 30 villages to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Budgam Dak Bungalow where Mufti is staying for the night.Taking her public outreach further, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti had convened a public grievances redressal camp at Budgam on Sunday where she interacted with hundreds of people and deputation.Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah was quick to jump on the bandwagon asking Mehbooba to go home to allow resumption of power supply to villages. “If this is true Mehbooba Mufti, Budgam is only 40-45 minutes from Fairview can you please go home & let these villages have electricity? (sic)” he tweetedThe government, however, did not take it lying down and came out strongly against the reports.”It is a small guest house. We have a generator for the guest house. How can we cut off power of 30 villages just to provide electricity to this small guest house? I am sorry to say that it is a big lie,” Mohommad Harun Malik, deputy commissioner of Budgam, told DNA. Malik said there was a snag that had caused the outage in few habitations which was later sorted out.”To link this with the CM is unfortunate and a mockery of sorts,” he said.

Nirmala Sitharaman meets J&K Guv, CM; security situation discussed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here and discussed the security situation in the state.An official spokesman said the meeting lasted an hour.Sitharaman was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat.”The governor and Sitharaman discussed several important inter-related issues concerning effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the context of increasing infiltration attempts, the ongoing anti-terrorist operations, and sustained terrorist attacks on security forces personnel in the Valley,” the spokesman said.At the meeting, the governor stressed the urgent need for enlargement of the Border Roads Organisation and strengthening of its resources for ensuring the maintenance of vital road networks and strategic connectivities in J&K, particularly in the Ladakh region.The governor also sought Sitharaman’s intervention for the return of certain pockets of land to the state government which were no longer required for military purposes.Sitharaman also met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here this evening.The two leaders discussed several issues related to the prevailing situation in the state.Mehbooba sought the intervention of the defence minister for the return of certain pockets of land in the state which are no longer required for operational purposes by the Army and about which consensus has already been arrived between state government and the Defence Ministry.Mehbooba also raised the issue of speeding up work on some important roads in the state being constructed by the BRO.She also pitched for the construction of tunnels at the Razdan pass on the Bandipore-Gurez road and the Sadhna pass on the Kupwara-Tanghdar road.The chief minister also proposed opening areas such as Battalik, Siachin base for tourist activities.Sitharaman assured Mehbooba to look into the issues raised by her in a time-bound manner, the spokesman said.

25,000 followers later Mehbooba Mufti breaks her silence: Omar Abdullah welcomes CM Sahiba to Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday welcomed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for her first tweet, three years after joining the microblogging site.She on Sunday took to Twitter to share a short promotional film of the state’s tourism department.On Monday, Omar tweeted, “25,000 followers later @MehboobaMufti finally broke her silence on twitter with a tourism promotion video. Welcome to Twitter CM Sahiba.” The five-minute film titled ‘Warmest Place on Earth’, which aims to counter the negative perception about the Valley, has drawn over 1.6 million views in less than 48 hours after its release.The opposition leader, had hit out at the chief minister on Sunday for terming the situation in Kashmir peaceful.”There is something disconcerting about the CM claiming this just days after her minister survived an attack that killed 3 people!,” Omar had tweeted.He was reacting to a news report which quoted Mehbooba saying that the situation in Kashmir was peaceful and it was the media which was creating negative perception about the Valley.

Positivity would go long way: Mehbooba Mufti welcomes Rajnath Singh’s approach towards Jammu and Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday welcomed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir, saying the positivity would go a long way in putting balms on the wounds of the people of the state.Mufti said she has all-along maintained that in a positive outreach with all shades of opinion in J-K, coupled with compassion, confidence-building and co-existence, lies the key of a lasting peace and prosperity for the people of the state, country and the sub-continent.Singh, who is on a four-day visit to J-K, told reporters that the tree of peace in Kashmir has not dried up and a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue is based on five ‘C’s — compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence-building and consistency.He also said that the situation in the Kashmir Valley has improved significantly over the past year and some green shoots of peace were visible, expressing willingness to meet every stakeholder to resolve long-standing issues.Chief minister Mufti also welcomed the announcement of the union home minister for an increase in the prime minister’s developmental package to around Rs one lakh crore, saying it would go a long way in pacing up the developmental revolution in the state.

A day before Rajnath Singh’s Anantnag visit, terror attack near his meeting venue leaves one dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day ahead of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir, terrorists attacked a police party at a bus stand. According to ANI, one policeman was killed and two were injured in the incident. The attack took place a mere 500 yards from the venue of the Home Minister’s meeting.Earlier, officials had said the home minister is scheduled to visit Khanabal in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district where he will interact with CRPF and police officials.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said he has come with an open mind and willing to meet anyone who helps government find solutions to the problems faced by the state.The official Twitter handle of the home minister said Singh will chair a review meeting of Prime Minister’s Development Package and also meet the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.”I am going there with an open mind and I am willing to meet anyone who will help us in finding solutions to problems facing J&K,” Singh said in a tweet before taking off from the capital.Singh said he will be interacting with delegations of civil society in the state during his stay.The home minister arrived at the Srinagar airport where he was received by deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh and senior officials of the state government, officials said.During his stay in the state, the home minister is likely to meet Governor N N Vohra, besides meeting top civil administration and security officials, the officials said.South Kashmir has been on the boil over the past one and a half year and has witnessed several encounters between security forces and militants.Singh will also visit Naushera in Rajouri district and Jammu district during the four-day visit, they added.

Rajnath Singh visits Jammu & Kashmir, says willing to meet anyone who helps find solutions to problems

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said that he has come with an open mind and willing to meet anyone who helps the government find solutions to the problems faced by the state.The home minister arrived at the Srinagar airport where he was received by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and senior officials of the state government.Singh also met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at Nehru Guest House in Srinagar.The official Twitter handle of the home minister said Singh will chair a review meeting of Prime Minister’s Development Package and also meet the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.”I am going there with an open mind and I am willing to meet anyone who will help us in finding solutions to problems facing J&K,” Singh said in a tweet before taking off from the capital.Meanwhile, as Rajnath Singh visits the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNF) leader Omar Abdullah reminded him of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech and said that the state expects it to be “acted on.””Na golli say na gaali say, galay lagana say J&K ka masla hal ho ga. We look forward to seeing these words from Red Fort on 15th Aug acted on,” said Omar Abdullah on Twitter.Rajnath Singh’s visit comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort said his government was committed to bring back the ‘lost glory’ of Kashmir.

J&K: DGP SP Vaid praises bravehearts who took down terrorists in gunfight in Pulwama encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir, S.P. Vaid on Sunday said that the brave hearts of the Pulwama encounter played an excellent role in evacuating families affected in Saturday’s encounter.”Our boys did a great job in rescuing 36 families affected in the Pulwama encounter. Although they had performed well in the past too, but this type of incident happened after a long time,” DGP SP Vaid told ANI.He further said this was an attempt by the agencies to send foreign militants like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).”Senior officers of the valley supervised the operation. DIG Anantnag supervised the sector commander of the Army and a para unit of the Army was used to flash out the terrorists,” he added.Eight security personnel, including four CRPF soldiers and four policemen, were killed in the encounter between the security forces and fidyan terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.In the massive gunfight, three terrorists were also gunned down.The terrorists had carried out a suicide attack on District Police Lines in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.While Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned the killing of jawans, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley condoled the death of the personnel killed in the encounter.

Woman cadet trolled for urging peace in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An NCC woman cadet was trolled on social media by a gang of separatist trolls for urging Kashmiri youth to shun stone pelting and “azadi” campaigns and embrace “real freedom”. The student of of Government Degree College for Women, Anantnag, was abused and threatened on Facebook after she praised the Indian army in a 2.50-minute video.“As you are aware of the prevailing situation in Srinagar and southern parts of the valley, I request all the parents and children to not take to protesting, stone pelting and raising slogans for azadi,” she says in the video. “Azadi is nothing. If you want azadi it is here. Life is here…. It is the 1Indian army which is going to bring you life,” she said.The video soon went viral, with trolls, mostly men, hurling foul, gendered abuses at her. A few others threatened her and abused her parents for “letting down Kashmir’s azaadi movement”.State Deputy CM Nirmal Singh assured the woman that the government and security forces would handle the situation. “She has spoken the mind of the Kashmiri people. The youth here wants development and peace. They believe that their future is the largest democracy in India,” he said.The incident comes eight months after Zaira Wasim, who played Geeta Phogat in Amir Khan-starrer Dangal, had to apologis after she was trolled for meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

JK CM inaugurates satellite campuses of Kashmir univ at Leh,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is on a three-day visit to the Ladakh region, today inaugurated the Leh and Kargil satellite campuses of the University of Kashmir. The setting up of the satellite campuses at these places was a long-pending demand of the people of the region, given its inhospitable terrain, an official spokesman said. Both the campuses have adequate facilities for teaching and residing. At Kargil, the chief minister was informed that the satellite campus, built at a cost of Rs 29 crore, would have a student intake capacity of 150, initially in three subjects — Information Technology, Arabic and Botany. During her brief interaction with the students, Mehbooba announced that buses would be provided to ferry them from their areas to the campus. She also directed to introduce subjects such as Persian, Education and certain skill development courses. Later, the chief minister visited Leh on the second leg of her Ladakh tour, where she inaugurated the Leh satellite campus of the Kashmir University at Phyang. Built at a cost of Rs 27.40 crore, the Leh satellite campus is spread over an area of 41 hectares. It has separate buildings for classrooms, hostels, administration, arts and science streams. The chief minister directed to start undergraduate courses at the campus, which have a good demand in the job market, besides courses on regional development, ethnography, geology etc.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Upgraded Jammu Airport inaugurated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport, Jammu, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation; Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space; Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir; Kavinder Gupta, Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly; Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Shamsher Singh Manhas, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India, were among the others who attended the event. Jammu is the gateway city for Jammu and Kashmir and the winter capital of the state, is also popularly known as the ?City of Temples.? Bestowed with a rich heritage and cultural legacy, Jammu has promising tourism potential. The city is famous for religious tourism and the holy shrine of ?Mata Vaishno Devi? is 46 kms. from the city. Jammu Airport belongs to the Indian Air Force, Ministry of Defence and AAI maintains a Civil Enclave for civil aircraft operations. During the year 2016-17, passenger traffic movement at Jammu Airport reached 1.16 million and the passenger growth rate has touched 29 per cent in the first quarter of 2017-18. To cope with the increasing passenger growth and demand, expansion and upgradation of the existing terminal building of Jammu Airport has been completed. The area of the terminal building is expanded from 6700 square meters to 14,500 square meters with an upgraded peak hour handling capacity of 720 passengers at a time, an increase from the existing 360 peak hour passengers. The upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport is a glass and steel structure and is equipped with passenger facilities and amenities like CUTE-complied check-in counters, Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) kiosk for check-in, central air-conditioning, two arrival conveyer belts, escalators and glass elevators, flight information display system and PA system with comfortable seating capacity. For the safety and security of passengers, the terminal building is equipped with fire fighting and a fire alarm system, CCTV and baggage scanners etc. There is a provision for the installation of three passenger boarding bridges with advanced visual docking guidance system (AVDGS) for the terminal which would increase operational efficiency besides convenience to passengers. While inaugurating the upgraded terminal building, Ashok Gajapathi Raju said, ?We believe in augmenting infrastructure of our airports to enhance connectivity. With the upgraded Jammu Airport, we would be better prepared to give improved services to air travelers visiting this city of temples.? Mehbooba Mufti said, ?We have been witnessing promising growth in number of air travelers to and from Jammu. The upgraded Terminal of Jammu Airport is in line to enhance capacity and will contribute to the economic growth of Jammu ? the gateway to the State.? The upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport is equipped with green features like double insulated roofing system, rainwater harvesting, 200 KLD sewage treatment plant (soil-based technology), reuse of treated water for horticulture and air conditioning purposes, use of fly ash bricks, low heat gain glazing, low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints, LED lighting, energy efficient chillers, VFDs (Variable Frequency Drive) for high Capacity Motors.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jammu airport’s upgraded passenger terminal building inaugurated to enhance connectivity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With a view to improve services for visitors in Jammu and Kashmir, an upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport was inaugurated by Union Minister for Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday. ?We believe in augmenting infrastructure of our airports to enhance connectivity. With the upgraded Jammu Airport, we would be better prepared to give improved services to air travelers visiting this city of temples,? said Raju on the occasion. Appreciating the upgraded terminal building of Jammu Airport, Mehbooba Mufti, said, ?We have been witnessing promising growth in number of air travelers to and from Jammu. The upgraded terminal of Jammu Airport is in line to enhance capacity and will contribute to the economic growth of Jammu ? the gateway to the State.? MoS, PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Members of Parliament and senior officials were also present on the occasion. Jammu Airport belongs to the Indian Air Force, and Airports Authority of India maintains a Civil Enclave for civil aircraft operations. During the year 2016-17, passenger traffic movement at Jammu airport reached 1.16 million and the passenger growth rate has touched 29 percent in the first quarter of 2017-18. To cope with the increasing passenger growth and demand, the existing terminal building of Jammu Airport has been expanded and upgraded. The area of the terminal building has been expanded from 6700 sq. mtrs. to 14,500 sq. mtrs., with an upgraded peak hour handling capacity of 720 passengers at a time, from the earlier 360 peak hour passengers. The upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu Airport is a glass and steel structure and is equipped with passenger facilities and amenities like CUTE-complied check-in counters, Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) kiosk for Check-in, central air-conditioning, two arrival conveyer belts, escalators and glass elevators, Flight Information Display System, PA system with comfortable seating capacity. The terminal building is also equipped with Fire Fighting and Fire Alarm System, CCTV and Baggage Scanners etc. There is a provision for installation of three Passenger Boarding Bridges with Advanced Visual Docking Guidance System (AVDGS) for the Terminal which would increase operational efficiency besides convenience to passengers. In addition to the above, the upgraded passenger terminal Building is equipped with Green features like double insulated roofing system, rainwater harvesting, 200 KLD sewage treatment plant (soil-based technology), reuse of treated water for horticulture and air conditioning purposes, use of fly ash bricks, low heat gain glazing, low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints, LED lighting, energy efficient chillers, VFDs (Variable Frequency Drive) for high Capacity Motors.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba inaugurates three key projects in Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today inaugurated three major projects here including a guest house, a multi-level parking facility and a student hostel. Mehbooba is on a two-day visit to the winter capital. She inaugurated the new building of ‘Kisan Ghar’, a guest house intended to serve members of farming community at Narwal fruit mandi, an official spokesman said here. The state-of-the-art guest house facility has been built at a cost of Rs 5.41 crore over a period of two years, he said. It may be recalled that former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had laid the foundation of this guest house on June 21, 2015 with the aim of providing a convenient stay to members of farming community during their visit to the city. Interacting with the representatives of farming community, the chief minister assured them that the facility would meet their long pending demand. The chief minister also visited Super Bazaar in old city and inaugurated a multi-level car parking facility. The parking lot, built at a cost of Rs 33.11 crore, will have a capacity to accommodate 352 four-wheelers, 162 two-wheelers, much to the respite of citizens from traffic congestion in old city of Jammu, an official spokesman said. She also inaugurated Mufti Muhammad Sayeed student’s hostel built by Auqaf Islamia Jammu for the stay of beneficiary students, the spokesman said. The hostel would provide accommodation to 100 students. Built at a cost of Rs six crore, the hostel would also have additional facilities of parking and catering, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hope rekindles after PM’s outreach to J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hopes for a thaw rekindled after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the people of restive Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 70th Independence Day on Tuesday.During his speech, Modi tried to heal wounds of Kashmiris by saying that neither ‘goli’ (bullets) nor ‘gaali’ (abuses) can solve the Kashmir issue and it can only be addressed by embracing Kashmiris.From Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to former chief minister Omar Abdullah, leaders cutting across political divide welcomed Modi’s outreach to Jammu and Kashmir.“Welcome @narendramodi also believes ‘Goli & Gaali’ will not help resolve Kashmir. If insaniyat (humanity) and insaaf (justice) replace them Resolution can become a Reality,” Mirwaiz tweeted soon after Modi reached out to the people.J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was quick and welcomed the Prime Minister’s remarks. Mufti said she has always believed that only dialogue and peaceful means can help resolve issues as the futility of violence has been established all around.“The slogan Bandook say na goli say… Baat banay gi boli say (Neither by guns nor by bullets, the issues can be solved only through dialogue) coined by the PDP (her party) some 15 years ago is as relevant today as it was then,” said Mehbooba.Former chief minister and J&K National Conference working president Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to convey that Prime Minister’s remarks have been received well, but at the same time expressed apprehensions about inaction.“PM Modi’s words for Kashmir have been very well received by people here but everyone here is weary of more talk & no concrete action…The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We look forward to being embraced in the warm grip of understanding, acceptance & respect,” Omar said.

J-K: MLA Rashid detained as he marches to Bakshi Stadium

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police today detained independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid as he took out a march to hoist a black flag at the Bakshi Stadium, the main venue of the Independence Day celebration here. The legislator from north Kashmir’s Langate assembly constituency along with supporters of his Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) took out the march from his official residence at Jawahar Nagar here and tried to reach the stadium, a police official said. He said a large contingent of police stopped the procession and detained Rashid and several of his supporters. They were trying to march to the Bakshi Stadium to hoist a black flag at the venue where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti unfurled the Tricolour earlier in the morning, the official said. Rashid and his supporters have been lodged at the Rajbagh police station, the official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba hopes plea against Article 35A will be dismissed by SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday expressed confidence in the Supreme Court, saying that a plea challenging Article 35A of the Constitution will be dismissed by the apex court. Addressing the people at Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar, Mehbooba Mufti said, “I have full confidence that our Supreme Court will again dismiss this plea challenging Article 35A of the Constitution in the same way as the apex court had done in these 70 years.” Mufti further hailed National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah for his advice on Artice 370 matter which she has followed. “Thank Farooq Abdullah Sahab for meeting me; requested him to advice me over the fact that again some people approached SC over Article 370,”she said. “I am happy that like a father, with lot of affection he (Farooq Abdullah) heard me and gave advice on it and that I followed,” she added. On Monday, the top court said all petitions that demand scrapping of the articles should be heard together. The SC is now likely to hear all cases on August 29. The Supreme Court last month had asked the Centre to file a reply within three weeks to a writ petition, filed by NGO ‘We the Citizens,’ seeking that Article 35A be struck down. For the unversed, Article 35A of the Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the state’s permanent residents and their privileges. Article 35A was inserted into the Constitution of India through a presidential order in 1954, to guarantee that the maharaja’s ban on outsiders would remain. It actually makes little difference in practical terms, for domicile rights apply in other states too. Meanwhile, Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why is Kashmir’s ‘special status’ under threat in India?

A property law unique to Indian-administered Kashmir is being challenged in India’s Supreme Court.

Mehbooba Mufti meets Guv, discusses Art 35A, other issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called on Governor N N Vohra here and discussed legal challenges to Article 35A of the Constitution and several other issues, an official said. She met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan and briefed him about her party s views and the discussions she had had with leaders of various political parties regarding the challenge to Article 35A, an official spokesman said. Article 35A gives special status to the state and has been challenged in the Supreme Court. It empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges. The spokesperson said Mehbooba and Vohra also discussed other issues including the ongoing anti-militancy operations, maintenance of law and order, establishing capacity and outreach for effective implementation of the GST, the pace of tourist arrivals in the Valley, implementation of important development schemes and projects and functioning of the universities. The governor also discussed with Mehbooba the rapidly declining visual aspect of the Dal Lake and timely elections to panchayats and urban local bodies, the spokesman said. He said the governor, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, thanked the chief minister for the state administration s support in the “successful” conduct of this year s yatra.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K’s special status needs to be protected: Mehbooba

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid a fresh clamour for the abrogation of Article 35-A of the Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the special status enjoyed by the state needed to be protected and preserved. Article 35-A of the Constitution empowers the state’s legislature to define its “permanent residents” and accord special rights and privileges to them. “The legislature of the state enjoys huge powers unlike any other state assembly. We need to preserve and protect this status,” Mehbooba told a public meeting after inaugurating the Randakdaji-Jawalapora-Gaffarabad road in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. On the GST legislation passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, she said that the state had enacted its own law. “The guarantees carried in the Presidential Order (on GST) reflect the special status Jammu and Kashmir enjoys within the Constitution of India,” she said. The chief minister said that the opening of historic routes along the Line of Control (LoC) in the state, frequent exchange of students, artists and other groups would bring a lasting peace in the state by promoting more people to people exchanges. Mehbooba said only a conducive and peaceful atmosphere can lead the state to prosperity and resolution of the issues. “The government has taken up several development programmes this year which could not be taken up last year due to unrest. The government has taken up developmental activities in areas which so far have remained neglected,” she said. The Randakdaji-Jawalapora-Gaffarabad road is to be built at a cost of Rs 15.05 crore and it would be completed in two years. With the completion of the road project, the connectivity to Doodhpathri and Tosa Maidan tourist destinations would be improved. The chief minister also visited Khag where she laid the foundation of a 10-km Khag-Aripanthan road to be upgraded from the present single lane to double lane at a cost of Rs 13.08 crore. It would be completed by next year. Later, the chief minister also laid the foundation of a modern health centre at Khag to be set up by the Government Medical College, Srinagar at a cost of Rs 5.28 crore. She announced setting up of a fire station, a tourist facility in view of the scenic beauty of the area, and development of a sports field there. These demands were raised by the locals with the chief minister. The chief minister also visited Magam where she inaugurated a degree college. Built at a cost of Rs 9.83 crore, the college for 1,500 students has academic, administrative and library blocks.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Need to protect our ‘special position’ first Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday warned about the consequence of tinkering with Article 35 A in the state said we first need to protect our ?special position? which was granted to us in year 1947 then we can demand for more. Article 35A of the Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the state’s permanent residents and their privileges. While addressing a public meeting at Jawal Pora village in Budgam district, Mehbooba said, ?We have to provide all facilities to our people but for that peace is essential in the state. We will first protect our ?special position? which was granted to us in year 1947 then we can demand for more?. Further hailing about her government, Mehbooba stated that she is doing her best to bring all facilities to the state. ?My government aims to build hospitals with all facilities in every constituency and also to provide the best medical care. We are planning to construct new schools and colleges in the state. My appeal to all young and old both male and female citizen is to restore peace which is vital for development?. Article 35A has been challenged in the Supreme Court, which will give its verdict next month. Article 35A was inserted into the Constitution of India through a presidential order in 1954, to guarantee that the maharaja’s ban on outsiders would remain. It actually makes little difference in practical terms, for domicile rights apply in other states too.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC issues notice to Centre on plea challenging J-K’s Article 370

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. As per the plea, Article 370 which gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir has lapsed. The plea also urged to declare the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir as illegal. Following this, the top court issued notice to the Centre, seeking response on the same. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while backing the people of her state vehemently denied the idea of revoking the state’s special status granted as per Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and said the flag and the special status were a crucial element of preserving the Valley’s culture and heritage. Ends RK/mp NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba orders quick completion of conservation works in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today directed preservation and conservation of heritage spots and ancient monuments in Jammu city and adjoining areas. Mufti passed the directive during her meeting with the members of a deputation of Jammu Heritage Society, an official spokesman said. “The chief minister directed the Tourism department to pace up conservation works at the Mubarak Mandi heritage complex,” he said. “She also directed proper landscaping of the green areas in the complex and taking steps for preparing a souvenir on the said monument,” the spokesman said. During the meeting, Mufti said the conservation works should be completed at the earliest so that a portion of the heritage complex could be thrown open for visitors and tourists. The chief minister also directed pacing up of work on the Jammu cable car project and installation of musical fountain at the Bagh-e-Bahu.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JK CM for ceremonial parade at Octerio BoP to boost tourism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today batted for exploring the possibilities of starting a “ceremonial parade” at Indo-Pak Octerio Border Out Post on lines of the Attari Wagah border to attract tourists. The chief minister visited the Indo-Pak border at Suchetgarh on the outskirts of Jammu and directed authorities to speed up development projects to boost border tourism. Mehbooba directed the divisional administration to explore the possibilities of starting ceremonial parade at the zero point (Octerio) so that the place attracts tourists like at Wagah-Attari point, an official spokesman said. Ceremonial parade is conducted by the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pak Rangers at Wagah-Attari border point along International Border (IB) in Punjab daily. Octerio is located around 40 kms from Jammu city and is an entry point to Sailkot district of Pakistan on Jammu-Sailkote railway line. The chief minister also reviewed execution of the Rs 4.92 crore tourism project at the zero point (Octerio), the spokesman said, adding the facilities being added at the place include a tourist parking lot costing Rs 60 lakhs, rain water harvesting project, landscaping and plantation project costing Rs 1.35 crore etc. The entire project will be completed by early 2019, he said. The divisional commissioner of Jammu informed the chief minister that the road network from RS Pura to Suchetgarh was being improved by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a cost of Rs 20 crore which would minimise the time of travel as well as make the ride more comfortable.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Union secretaries call on Mehbooba, brief her about central

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of Union secretaries, led by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, today called on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and briefed her about the execution of development plans by various union ministries in the state under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP). The Chief Minister asked the union secretaries to expedite the release of funds to the state through various union ministries so that the works are accomplished on time, an official spokesman said here. She said given the limited working season in the state, the fund release need to be expedited further, he said. Mehbooba laid emphasis on pacing up skill development and development of sports infrastructure besides upgradation of key infrastructure, power, urban development and other core sectors in the state. She said youth development is the top agenda of her government and any programme aimed at their welfare should be expedited and prioritised accordingly. The Chief Minister received a briefing on the activities by various ministries in this regard, the spokesman said. She specifically asked for setting up of incubation centres for skill development and employability of youth besides working on corporate linkages for their absorption. Mehbooba suggested crafting of a specific skill development programme for the victims of pellet injuries in the state. The Chief Minister also asked for adequate and timely funding for various sports infrastructure development projects besides opening of a regional unit of the Sports Authority of India to coordinate sporting activities in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba Mufti faces flak for ‘cross-border trade’ remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti?s appeal to the Centre to not block trade routes with Pakistan has not gone down well with many, as experts have pointed out that Separatists are the only beneficiaries from such a trade. Defence Expert, P.K. Sehgal, while speaking to ANI criticized the use of cross-border trade in the valley and said that only the separatists are the beneficiaries from such a trade. ?Money is created for separatists and it?s used for anti-India motives. It?s used for narco-terrorism, ammunition etc,? he said, adding that vote bank politics continue to get the better of Mufti and that she is pursuing with the cross-border trade because her constituency is mainly occupied by separatists. He also said that in order for the cross-border trade to continue, a number of checks and balances need to be kept in place so that nothing works in favor of the separatists. Speaking on the same, senior journalist Rahul Jalali pointed to the civil unrest in the valley ever since Mehbooba Mufti took office. He also criticized her for not commenting on any of the issues in the valley before the arrest of the separatist leaders. He spoke of a Coordination committee which was present during her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed?s regime and said that she should have revived the committee and held talks within her ambit. Speaking on her cross-border trade comment, he said, ?She speaks beyond her jurisdiction. These are international matters with another country and she could have taken this up in the agenda of alliance through the coordination committee.? The flurry of criticism comes after Mufti on Saturday appealed to the Centre to revive the Lahore Declaration for restoring peace in the Valley, and not block trade routes with Pakistan. The Lahore Declaration is a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan which was signed in 1999 before the Kargil war. Her statement came a day after she had warned the Central Government against diluting Article 370, which grants special status to the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tricolour sacrosanct to us: Jitendra on Mehbooba’s flag remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Jitendra Singh today said the tricolour is “sacrosanct” and termed as “shocking and ridiculous” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that no one in Jammu and Kashmir would be there to hold the flag if their special rights are tinkered with. Mehbooba Mufti yesterday said at a function in New Delhi “Who is doing it? Why are they doing it? (challenging Article 35-A). Let me tell you that my party and other parties who carry the national flag there (in Jammu and Kashmir) despite all risks…. I have no doubt in saying that there will be no one to hold it (national flag) (if it is tinkered).” Singh said the tricolour would fly as high in Jammu and Kashmir as in the other parts of the country. “As far as we are concerned, the tricolour is sacrosanct to us.” Terming Mehbooba’s statement as shocking and ridiculous, Singh said “Jammu and Kashmir is as much part of India as any other state of India. That is also the official stand.” “If at all there is an issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, it is only of how to retrieve the part of the state that remains under the illegal occupation of Pakistan,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Outgoing Pak envoy Abdul Basit says dialogue key to resolving issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Saturday emphasised on a continuous dialogue between the two nations for resolving disputes. ?Engagement is imperative to both countries. Both the countries had decided that they would separate talks from terrorism, because there would be forces in both nations, which cannot accept the normalisation of any relationship,” he said at an event here. He said that there should be a dialogue in place to address the perceptions or misconceptions on each side. Further talking about Pakistan?s support to Kashmiris, he said, ?Perceptions and misconceptions in India about Pakistan?s support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not limited to moral, diplomatic or political support. They are beyond that.? ?The people of Jammu and Kashmir should not be allowed to suffer because of what Pakistan or India did or did not do. Kashmiris have the right to self determination as was committed to them by both countries ,? he added. His comments come a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti talked about the state in a seminar where she discussed issues like Article 35-A under Article 370, which gives special status to the state. The outgoing envoy said that Pakistan does not shy away from discussing issues like terrorism as the country too has concerns when it comes to this. ?Once we start talking to each other there would be other issues like terrorism. So, engagement is the key and we should not take it as a favour from one country to another. It?s a prerequisite; it?s a necessity if we are to resolve our problems,? he said. The India-Pakistan relations have been strained ever since a death sentence was awarded to former Indian Naval officer Jadhav. India even moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek justice for Jadhav that stayed the death sentence till its final decision. When asked about the future of the downhill relations, the outgoing envoy said, “Never give up. Keep trying; things will get better.” The Pakistan government had earlier accepted the request of Abdul Basit to resign from the foreign service after he was passed over for the post of foreign secretary earlier this year. Basit was to retire in April 2018, but he opted for an early retirement and sent his resignation letter to former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba shouldn’t wade into foreign policy issues Activist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jammu and Kashmir activist Sushil Pandit on Saturday advised state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti not to wade into foreign policy issues. His advice came after Mufti appealed the Centre to revive the Lahore Declaration for restoring peace in Kashmir Valley. Speaking to ANI, Pandit said, ?Mehbooba Mufti is wading into foreign policy issues and that too in the sensitive area of India and Pakistan. She already has a lot of work on her plate; she should address that before she starts offering gratuity advice on Indo-Pak relation in the light of the Lahore declaration?. Earlier in the day, Mehbooba said, “I appeal Centre to revive Lahore Declaration so that we can live peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir.? She further asserted that trade routes with Pakistan shouldn’t be blocked, instead there should be crackdown on drugs and Cannabis which are smuggled from there. The Chief Minister’s statement comes a day after she had warned the Central Government against diluting Article 370, which grants special status to the state. “Any changes in the Article 370 will not be acceptable. I won’t hesitate in saying that nobody will even hold the Tricolour in Kashmir if the article is scrapped,” she said at an event yesterday. The Lahore Declaration is a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan which was signed in 1999 before the Kargil war. The treaty, signed by then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif. A mutual understanding for development of atomic arsenals and to avoid accidental and unauthorized operational use of nuclear weapons was developed in the treaty. Meanwhile, the Centre has condemned Mufti’s recent statement on the Indian flag. “This is the most shocking and ridiculous statement which Mufti has made. Tricolour is sacrosanct to us. It will fly high in Jammu and Kashmir as much as it does in any other state of the Indian Union. Being in power does not make one misuse it!” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office (MoS PMO) Jitendra Singh told ANI.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

End of 5-year old battle brings joy on faces of nearly 200 KP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The end of a five-year-long legal battle between a group of Kashmiri Pandit job aspirants and the state government has brought joy on the faces of nearly 200 such youths after the latter approved their appointments. The KP job seekers hailed the decision as a “victory for justice” and patted Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for it. “We are very thankful to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for keeping her word and approving our appointment in accordance with the High Court ruling of 2015,” president of the unemployed petitioners forum (UPF) Rahul Kachroo told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba Mufti says PDP will not allow closure of cross-LoC trade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said the PDP would not allow the closure of cross-LoC trade and continue to work towards opening more routes across the Line of Control with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Addressing a large rally on the 18th foundation day of the People’s Democratic Party here, Mehbooba also pitched for nominating members to the legislative assembly from the other side of LoC so that joint meetings could be held once in a year.”There are many difficulties through the Wagah border, charas and ganja comes from there but no one talks about closing it. Just because a mistake happens on the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road, we should not talk about closing it. We will not allow that to happen,” the chief minister said.On July 21, police seized 66.5 kg of heroin and brown sugar worth Rs 300 crore from a truck coming from PoK.There have also been reports that the NIA, which is probing terror funding in Kashmir, may recommend closure of trade along cross-LoC routes.”We are in favour of opening more routes. There should be facilities like banking there (at crossing points). There should be (full) body scanners (for trucks) so that we know what is coming in and what is going out from here,” she said.”What we in PDP have achieved since 2002 needs to be taken forward,” Mehbooba added.Discussing the idea of a joint legislature for undivided Jammu and Kashmir, she said, “There are seats reserved in our assembly for that Kashmir. We should decide together to make nominations for those seats. We should decide that this assembly meets once in this Kashmir and once in that Kashmir every year so that we can talk about tourism, travel and opening of Sharda Peeth.”The PDP president also spoke about student exchanges.”I appeal to people on the other side of Kashmir. Come and send your children on a 15-day tour here and we will send our children there. They will see how we live here and our children will see how they live there.”The chief minister appealed to all mainstream parties, including coalition parter BJP and the opposition National Conference and Congress, to put their heads together and find a way to end bloodshed in Kashmir.”I appeal to all parties — be it National Conference, Congress, BJP, Communists or any other party — let us sit together and find a solution to the problems of Jammu and Kashmir. We are one, we are the same. (When) anyone is killed, it is a Kashmiri, be it a policeman or an innocent pedestrian.”She said she appealed to Farooq Abdullah (NC), Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) and the leadership of the BJP to help “heal the pain of Kashmiris”.The state was facing an ideological challenge, she said.”You cannot imprison an idea, you cannot kill an idea.” Referring to her father and PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she said he would often say Kashmir is besieged and should be should be set free by the opening of roads like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkot and Leh-Xinjiang.The chief minister sought the support of the people and her party workers in helping the state out of its present state of uncertainty.The PDP was founded on July 28, 1999 but the party decided to defer the foundation day celebrations by a day in deference to the Friday prayers.

Defence experts differ on Mehbooba’s statement on Separatists’ arrest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The defence experts on Saturday were seen divided on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti statement, dubbing the Separatists’ arrest by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as just an administrative measure. Yesterday, Mufti said the arrests were just an administrative measure and will not solve the real problem of Kashmir. On the one hand, where defence expert P.K. Saihgal opined that Mufti follows appeasement policy, journalist Rahul Jalali said that one needs to see the context in which Mufti made the statement. ?One needs to look at the context in which Mehbooba Mufti said this. She was not critical of the NIA. What she said is that administrative measures are no solution,? Jalali told ANI. ?She continues to be soft towards the terrorists. She continues to follow the policy of appeasement. Her entire votebank is in the south of Kashmir,? Saihgal told ANI. Supporting his defence for Mehbooba, Jalali said that the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister also said that if the NIA has found evidence against the Separatists, then action should be taken on that issue. ?She, in fact, said that the only solution to Kashmir will be found by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She appreciated his leadership and hoped that Prime Minister Modi, with his attitude, will find a solution to the Kashmir problem,? he said. Whereas, Saihgal maintained that former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah?s statement that Mufti won the last election primarily because of the Hurriyat support to her is not too far-fetched. ?That is why she (Mehbooba) feels she is obliged to stand by them despite the fact, that they are traitors as far as national interest is concerned,? he said. “The NIA arrests do not solve any problems; they are just an administrative measure. An administrative measure cannot help us to resolve the situation and cannot address the real problem of Kashmir. It is important to replace it with a better idea,” she said at an event organised by the Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals titled ‘Understanding Kashmir’ here,? Mehbooba had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

If Article 35A tinkered with, there would be no one in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir are tinkered with, then there would be no one in the state to hold the tricolour, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today warned. She said, on the one hand, “we talk about resolving the Kashmir issue under the framework of the Constitution and on the other hand we flog it”. “Who is doing it? Why are they doing it? (challenging the Article 35A). Let me tell you that my party and other parties who carry the national flag there (in Jammu and Kashmir) despite all risks… I have no doubt in saying that there will be no one to hold it (national flag) (if it is tinkered),” she said at an event here. Mehbooba went on to add, “Let me be very clear. By doing all this (challenging Article 35A), you are not targeting the separatists. Their (separatists) agenda is different and it is totally secessionist.” “But, you are weakening those powers which are Indian and trust India and participate in elections and who fight to live a life honourably in Jammu and Kashmir. This is one of the problem,” she said. In 2014, an NGO had filed a writ petition seeking the striking down of Article 35 A. The case is pending in the Supreme Court. Mehbooba said Kashmir is an idea of India. “The basic question is how much is the idea of India ready to accommodate the idea of Kashmir? This is the basic crux,” she said. She recounted how during Partition, Kashmir, even being a Muslim majority state defied the two-nation theory and the divisive separation on grounds of religion and aligned with India. “There have been special provisions in the Constitution of India for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Unfortunately, with the passage of time something happened somewhere that both sides started doing dishonesty.” Both the sides, she said while indicating towards the Centre and the state, may be became more greedy and the state had to suffer for the last 70 years. “Rather than addressing the problem, we took administrative measures like dismissal of government or making charges of conspiracy, sedition…we had all these things against separatists which at times led to their hangings, weapons exclusive to Kashmir and more security measures and increasing number of security people. “These administrative measures have not helped us to address the idea of Kashmir…,” Mufti said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Need Pak’s positive contribution to open roads in Kashmir:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today batted for revival of talks with Pakistan for resolving the Kashmir issue but said the neighbour’s positive contribution is very necessary to “open closed roads” in the state. Speaking at a public event here, she also said that the recent NIA raids and arrest of separatists leaders in the Kashmir Valley was a temporary measure and not a solution to address the real problem. “The PDP-BJP alliance has been on the belief and hope that we will be able to revive the magic of (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji’s time… Vajpayee ji did it,” she said in her keynote address at the ‘Understanding Kashmir’ session hosted by social group BRIEF. Citing the Lahore declaration in which Pakistan had assured that it will not allow its land to be used against anti-India activities, Mehbooba said, “We have to revive that… in spite of Kargil and attack on the Parliament house… “We have had some setbacks but we need to revive it, if we want that the closed roads in Jammu and Kashmir open, then Pakistan’s positive contribution is very necessary,” she said. She said the idea of ‘azadi’ in the minds of people of the state needs to be replaced with something else and drew attention to the 2005 working groups constituted to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue. “The working group reports (on Kashmir) have been thrown in the waste basket. We are not doing anything about that,” she said. When asked about the recent crackdown of the National Investigation Agency against separatist leaders in the Kashmir Valley, Mehbooba said such acts do not give a long-lasting solution. “Whatever happened with the NIA is an administrative measure. Such measures can just contain a situation, they don’t address the real problem,” she said. She said such crackdowns have not resolved the problem, adding “So we need to address the problem and real problem is still there.” While Mehbooba lauded the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she, at the same time, urged the Centre to do more to ease the situation in her state. “I feel Modiji is the man of the moment and he has the potential to rise and become the man of history. His leadership is an asset which needs to be harnessed… and take Kashmir out of this present mess,” she said. She expressed her sadness and concern over the tinkering with the Article 35A, that accords special rights and privileges to the natives of Jammu & Kashmir, and that its constitutional validity has been challenged in the Supreme Court by way of a PIL. “Who is doing it? Why are they doing it?… The separatists’ agenda is different and it is totally secession. But you are weakening those powers which are Indian and trust India and participate in elections (by challenging the Article 35A),” she said and warned if there is an alteration in the special status of the state there could be a revolt. “If any attempt is made… India will not get a shoulder to carry its national flag in the state,” she said. “This is one of the problem,” she said stressing that both the articles 370 and 35A are very dear to the state and they help preserve her state’s unique identity. The chief minister was critical of some television news channel anchors saying that they were trying to project Kashmir in a bad light. “I am sorry to say that this India, that the anchors are trying to project, is not what India is about and that is not the India I know,” she said as she stated that few channels were showing Kashmiris in a “bad light.” She said when she sees the retired ‘beard-wallahs’ from the other side (Pakistan) and ‘mooch-wallahs’ from this side screaming at the top of their lungs on television news channels, she feels they are taking out their “frustrations” about so many wars that the two countries saw. “I see that their eyes are bulging out, so much anger and some time they sweat too. I don’t want to be associated with this type of India or Pakistan…,” she said. Mehbooba said she wants to see an India which feels the pain of Kashmir. “I want to see that India which accepted us on our conditions. We are a diverse state with all kinds of multi- diversity of religion and every thing… sometimes they talk about our flag, sometimes about Article 370,” she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First batch of Haj pilgrims from J-K leave for Saudi Arabia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first batch of pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir today left for Saudi Arabia to perform the Haj pilgrimage. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Haj and Auqaf Minister Farooq Andrabi were at the Srinagar Airport to see off the first batch of pilgrims on a direct flight from here to the holy city of Madina, an official said here. The batch comprised 420 pilgrims. He said the second flight carrying an equal number of pilgrims is scheduled to take off later in the day. More than 8100 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir have been selected this year to perform the pilgrimage which will culminate with Eid-ul-Azha in the first week of September.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US, China should mind their business: Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting any third party intervention from China or the US, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday batted for bilateral talks between India and Pakistan under the Lahore Declaration and Shimla Treaty to resolve the vexed Kashmir issue.”We have a roadmap,” Mehbooba told reporters. “Even after the war, we (India and Pakistan) have to talk to each other. We have Vajpayee-ji’s Lahore Declaration. We have the Shimla Agreement. We have to sit together and talk to each other. What will America, Englistan and Turkistan do? They have made a mess of the issues confronting the world.”Mehbooba’s remarks came against the backdrop of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s call for third party intervention urging New Delhi to seek help from China and US to mediate the Kashmir issue.”America and China should mind their own business,” continued Mehbooba. “Wherever America has intervened, they have made a mess of these countries. China is mired in its own issues in Tibet. Look at the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Does Farooq-sahab want us to suffer like these countries or he wants our state to prosper?”Invoking former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Chief Minister said they should look up to their leaders who have charted a road map for resolving the Kashmir issue. “We should take it the road map forward,” she said. “Every day, there is firing on the borders and our people and soldiers die. Common people on the other side also die. There should be permanent cure to this problem. It can only happen when we respect these agreements.”Earlier, Mehbooba had visited sensitive south Kashmir, which has been the epicenter of the 2016 unrest that affected development in that region, and inaugurated several developmental projects. “People were seen in large numbers enroute, eagerly awaiting the Chief Minister,” says a government spokesperson. “They projected their demands and sought resolution. They were seen struggling to have a word with their leader.”

China, America should mind their own business: Mehbooba Mufti on third-party intervention in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday rebuked National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah’s remarks on Kashmir issue and said that the situation in Kashmir Valley would be same as Syria and Afghanistan if America starts intervening.”China, America should mind their own business, we all know what is the situation of the countries wherever they intervened be it Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq,” Mehbooba said.The chief minister said that only bilateral talks between India and Pakistan can help resolve the Kashmir issue.”As Vajpayeeji said in the Lahore declaration, India and Pakistan should hold talks to resolve Kashmir issue,” she said, and questioned: Does Farooq know what happened in Syria and Afghanistan?Mehbooba’s statements came in response to Abdullah’s remarks wherein he had suggested that third party countries like China and U.S should mediate in the Kashmir issue.The NC leader said India has so many allies across the globe, which can be approached for settling the Kashmir issue and act as a mediator between India and Pakistan.”For how long are you going to wait? Sometimes, you have to pull the bull by its horns. The way is to have a dialogue. India has so many friends all across the world and can ask them to act as a mediator. US President Trump himself said that he wants to settle Kashmir problem. China also said that it wants to mediate in Kashmir. Somebody has to be approached,” Abdullah said.

Incorrect reportage ‘alienating’ people of Kashmir: Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the press needs to ensure correct and contextual portrayal of happenings in Jammu and Kashmir, even as she alleged that a section of the national media was “alienating” the people of the state by indulging in debates and reportage which are “far from reality”. The CM stated this while interacting with a visiting Press Council of India (PCI) team which met her here. “A section of the country’s media has been indulging in debates, discussions and reportage about the state and its people, most of which is far from reality. This section needs to be reminded that by resorting to this diatribe about the state, they are not doing any service to the country but further alienating the people of the state,” Mufti said. Headed by S N Sinha, the three-member PCI team is on a week-long tour of the state. The chief minister said told the visiting delegation that need of the hour is to focus on commonalities, reconciliation and healing the wounds where the media has a very critical role to play. “Positive reporting about the state and its people by the media outlets will not only create a soothing impact on the minds of people here, it will also help the people of rest of the country in understanding Jammu and Kashmir and its people better,” she said. The chief minister invited the PCI to hold part of its golden jubilee celebrations in the state. She asked the delegation to help in clearing misconceptions about the state in a section of the media and consequently people in the country. The chief minister told the PCI delegation that the media fraternity in the state has performed in very difficult and extreme situations in the past and its professional competence can be matched with the best in the country. Later, the delegation also called on former chief minister and opposition National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah at his residence here. Omar told the delegation that a free and fair press is the bedrock of a healthy democracy and all should endeavour to ensure the ethos of objectivity, press freedom and neutrality are upheld and maintained at all costs. The NC working president said it was imperative to ensure that the reportage from Kashmir, especially that by the electronic media, is factual and free from any hyperboles, biases and prejudice. “The wrong portrayal of evolving situations in Kashmir has a disastrous effect on our tourism industry and also takes us further away from the goal of peace. The goals of objectivity and neutrality should be non-negotiable and we should all ensure we don’t add to the alienation – especially among the youth,” Omar said. The PCI team, which arrived here on July 16, has held extensive deliberations with media owners, editors and working journalists over the past four days to know about the issues confronting the media in Kashmir. The team will be visiting Jammu and Ladakh separately before finalising their report on the media scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cloudburst: CM asks administration to speed up rescue work

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed grief over the death of six persons in the cloudburst in Doda district and asked the administration to speed up rescue and relief works. She also asked the district administration to provide adequate treatment facilities to the injured and make arrangements of shelter, food and other facilities for the people affected by the cloudburst and consequent flash floods, an official spokesman said. The chief minister has asked the Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Shyam Choudhary to rush to Doda and oversee relief and rescue operations, the spokesman added. Six persons were killed and 11 injured after flash floods triggered by a cloudburst wreaked havoc in Thathri town of Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir today, inundating vast areas along the Batote-Kishtwar National Highway and washing away half a dozen houses.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Mehbooba meets Vohra to discuss law and order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today met Governor N N Vohra here and discussed law and order situation in the state and arrangements of the ongoing Amarnath yatra. The meeting at the Raj Bhawan was focused on the maintenance of law and order, internal security, pace of tourist arrivals in the Valley and the progress of Amarnath pilgrimage among others issues, an official spokesman said. He said timely implementation of important schemes and projects, functioning of universities, need for critical watch on the emergence of new educational institutions and steps required to protect the education sector in the state also came up for a detailed discussion during the meeting. Mehooba and the governor also projects which maybe taken up by the state government later this year, the spokesman said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajnath speaks to J-K CM regarding Ramban bus accident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Sunday spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti regarding the unfortunate accident of the bus carrying Amarnath Yatris near Ramban in which around 16 people lost their lives and many others got injured. ?My heart goes out to the families of Amarnath Yatris who lost their loved ones in the bus accident. My prayers are with the injured. Spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Muftiji regarding the unfortunate accident of the bus carrying Amarnath Yatris near Ramban,? Rajnath tweeted. He added that Mufti had apprised him of the ongoing rescue operations. ?The injured Amarnath Yatris are being airlifted for treatment in Jammu,? he tweeted. Earlier in the day, another tragedy struck on the Amarnath pilgrims when a bus, enroute Pahalgam, carrying them fell into a deep gorge. As many as 16 people were killed and around 27 others got injured in the mishap. A rescue operation by the Army is underway.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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